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Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It ★★★½

“Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It,” is a documentary rated PG-13 and has the luxury of Rita Moreno’s candid offerings. Boasting a 70+ year acting career, Rita Moreno has won every major entertainment award possible— yes, she has an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and a Tony. She was born into poverty on a Puerto Rican farm; her family immigrated to New York City when she was five years old; by age 16, she was the family’s main breadwinner.

Moreno was the first Latinx actress to win an Academy Award for her role as Anita in “West Side Story” (1961). Certainly, a memorable movie, as in 2010, I hosted a Q&A to a sold-out screening of the film in which Rita appeared on stage with fellow actors Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris. She talked about the hard work during rehearsals to perfect the dance and accompanying songs. She also relayed stories about Natalie Wood, who played Maria.

Mariem Pérez Riera directs a documentary that enlightens us on Moreno’s career and the movie studios that cast her in many stereotypical ethnic roles. She’s a true role model for all who have dreams and spend the time and effort to make them happen.

The Bottomline: I’m way in, three and a half stars out of four. The documentary touches on her romantic yet toxic relationship with Marlon Brando and later her marriage to a very controlling person, all while giving us a snapshot of her remarkable roles. She’s a very talented actress who has made a legendary career for herself. I enjoyed viewing this excellent documentary, meeting her daughter, Fernanda Luisa Gordon, and learning many new details of her life.

Thanks for listening in tonight this is your Movie and TV critic, Sarah Knight Adamson, check out my website at Sarah’s Backstage, and I’ll see you next week.

Sarah Knight Adamson© June 19, 2021